Cultural Safety and Humility Practice Standard Coming Soon
The College is currently working to implement an Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility, and Anti-racism Practice Standard in order to set clear expectations for registrants on the provision of providing culturally safe and anti-racist care for Indigenous patients and clients. The Board will be reviewing the new practice standard at its September Board meeting and, if approved, is expected to come into effect in September 2022
Practice standards set the minimum requirements for CPBC registrants with regards to professional and ethical conduct as it relates to a specific area of practice.
The new standard will be adapted with permission from the Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility and Anti-racism Practice Standard, developed collaboratively by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.
The introduction of this standard is a crucial first step in our mission to dismantle Indigenous-specific racism and improve access to high-quality, ethical and equitable health services for Indigenous peoples in BC.
- Steven Hopp, Board Chair, College of Pharmacists of BC
The development of this standard comes in response to Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s December 2020 report: In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care.
The report found that “requirements for cultural safety and humility and addressing Indigenous-specific racism are not adequately embedded throughout policy and standards,” and goes on to recommend the implementation of standards, definitions and expectations requiring health services to be free from all forms of racism and discrimination against Indigenous peoples.
As such, the College is working in tandem with BC’s remaining health regulators to implement this new standard by September 2022 to ensure that all regulated health professionals in BC are subject to the same requirements and expectations for providing culturally safe and anti-racist care for Indigenous patients and clients.
The College acknowledges that we are still very much at the beginning of our journey toward dismantling Indigenous-specific racism within our healthcare system. The implementation of this practice standard is by no means a conclusion. Moving forward, the College will continue to engage with Indigenous peoples to ensure that this standard is adequately and effectively addressing the challenges they face when accessing pharmacy and other health services.
Your Learning Journey
The College encourages registrants to begin or continue your learning journey with this list of helpful resources on Indigenous cultural safety, cultural humility and anti-racism compiled by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC:
These resources have been shared with permission from the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.
The College’s Cultural Safety and Humility Journey
The implementation of an Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility, and Anti-Racism Practice Standard is a significant milestone in the College’s continued journey toward Cultural Safety and Humility and the dismantling of Indigenous-specific racism within BC’s health care system.
This journey started on March 1, 2017, when the College pledged its commitment to improving BC pharmacy professionals’ work with Indigenous Peoples by signing the “Declaration of Cultural Safety and Humility in Health Services Delivery for First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples in BC."
Since then, the College has regularly published articles in response to current events impacting the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. These articles are intended to raise awareness among registrants of the social and historical factors impacting Indigenous communities, as well as provide them with valuable perspectives to incorporate into their practices to help ensure the provision of culturally safe care.
In December 2020, Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond released In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C Health Care. The report presents overwhelming evidence of Indigenous-specific racism in BC’s health-care system.
Systemic racism and intolerance toward Indigenous worldviews and traditional approaches to health, as well as the enduring legacy of colonialism all present as persistent barriers and poorer health outcomes for Indigenous people when accessing health care services.
In response to the report, in May 2021, the College of Pharmacists of BC, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, the BC College of Nurses and Midwives, and the College of Dental Surgeons of BC, issued a joint apology to Indigenous peoples and communities in BC for the racism and discrimination they have experienced while engaging with us and with the health professionals we regulate.
As part of this apology, the Colleges pledged to take specific actions both within our organizations, and as partners in the broader health landscape, to address and dismantle the Indigenous-specific racism that exists within our health care system.
In order to operationalize our pledge, the College worked with Joe, k’wunəmɛn (Joe Gallagher), principal at Qoqoq Consulting, Former CEO of the First Nations Health Authority, and current VP Indigenous Health & Cultural Safety at the Provincial Health Services Authority; and Knowledge Keeper and Elder, Sulksun (Shane Pointe) to establish specific strategies and actions that the College can implement to address the recommendations outlined in the In Plain Sight Report.
The implementation of this Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility, and Anti-Racism Practice Standard is a vital and overarching first-step for us to build upon and further develop, as we work to address the challenges faced by Indigenous communities when accessing pharmacy and other health services in BC.